Last week you had a chance to meet the heroine in my WIP Maid To Be a Lady, my sequel to A Christmas Surprise. This week I thought it would be fun for you to meet Mr. Gerrard, the hero, as he finds his old friend Mr. Thomas, at a tavern, headed for the same house party. As always, this being a WIP please excuse any mistakes you might find.
Mr. William Gerrard, eldest son to the Baron of Sidbury, strode through open the door to the tavern. Stepping into the taproom he wasn’t surprised to see only a few guest eating. It was late for most to have lunch and early for tea. Sitting in the corner working his way through what looked like a beef pie was his friend Thomas, Marquess of Langdonly.
He suspected the exact reason for him to be so far from home. Not only were they headed to the same boring house party but if he didn’t miss his guess Thomas as going to spend time with a certain young lady.
On his way over to greet him William stopped at the bar and ordered two beers and the same food Thomas was eating.
Taking the drinks he walked over, set one down in front of his friend who had his nose buried in a gazette, and took the opposite chair.
“Out for a little country air Thomas? Or traveling to the Whitchurch house party?”
He watched as Thomas set the paper down and lifted the tankard. “Yes on both accounts, and you?”
“Had to get away from the estate. Pater was driving me crazy with his constant demand I stop chasing skirts and take a wife. Not that there will be any worthy prospects at the gathering, at least the invitation came at the right time.”
Thomas leaned back in his chair, a smile on his lips. “Oh, I wouldn’t be so sure about that. But first, what are you qualities are you seeking in a wife.”
Now it was William who sat back, not so much to think, but allow the busty barmaid to set his meal in front of him. He waited until she left before turning his attention to Thomas.
“To describe my ideal wife would be almost impossible except for one thing.”
“Oh and pray tell what would that be.”
“It’s very simple. The woman I’m searching for is already spoken for, if not officially at least unofficially. I’m searching for a lady as refined and educated as your Lady Aleece. A woman who is not only beautiful but intelligent in the ways of the world. Someone who cares as much for herself and I as she does the people who work the land and in the different houses I inherit. Unfortunately, if the whispers are true that particular young lady is already all but spoken for.” William finished by taking a large slice of seasoned beef, chewing it then swallowing it down with a hefty swig of beer.
Thomas knew exactly who he was describing, his Aleece, but what the poor man didn’t know there was another young lady who also met his standards.
“Well, old and dear friend, you never know what’s around the corner. You might even meet your future bride at this house party,” he declared, knowing full well that if he got one look and listen to Debbi his friend would be caught in the parson’s mousetrap well and good.
William tossed his napkin down on the table, took a final drink from his beer then announced, “Then don’t you think we should be off. I’m sure you want to arrive before Lady Aleece”